2016’s Hottest Holiday Destinations Revealed


Every year, the travel industry is swamped with a line-up of ‘it’ destinations. Some have legitimate appeal, while others fizzle out after their fifteen minutes of fame. So what nations are set to steal the spotlight in 2016? After analysing US$35 billion worth of North American travel transactions, luxury travel network Virtuoso has come up with a countdown of the world’s most popular summer destinations.


Pizza, pasta and gelato for days? Sign us up! Italy is peppered with beautiful architecture, historic landmarks and gorgeous scenery. Plus, it’s home to some stunning seaside port cities.



Small but mighty, Great Britain never fails to impress holiday-goers with its quintessential English charm.


For a coveted blend of elegance and extravagance, France is the place to be. Its picturesque ports are the perfect place to soak up southern European sunshine, while the inner countryside makes for dreamy road trip scenery.


Lively and fast paced with a splash of debauchery, Spain is sexy, sunny and perfect for summer holidaymakers of all ages. From party islands to romantic retreats, Spain’s got it all.



This pint-sized European nation packs a punch, with friendly locals, a buzzing capital and beautifully flat countryside. Oh, and Holland America Line has roots with this gorgeous country.


Drawing on in-house data, Virtuoso revealed that bookings for Irish holidays were up by 58% for 2016. “Travellers visiting Ireland are flocking to Dublin and Galway in particular, along with County Laois in the centre of the country,” they report. Popular with A-listers like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, its ultra-luxe hotels and stunning landscapes have put it on the radars of holidaymakers searching for a touch of luxury.


Love beer and bratwurst? Germany is the destination for you! Couple that with fascinating modern world history and this popular European destination makes for a fantastic summertime getaway.

South Africa

With its enviable line-up of wildlife blended with its cosmopolitan capital cities, South Africa is a mecca for travellers in search of something a little more exciting than eternally popular European sunshine.



Sun kissed and sultry, Greece remains a favourite with travellers looking for fun and affordable getaways.


A bit of a wild card on the list, Israel is charming holidaymakers with its glut of attractions. Float in the dazzling Dead Sea, explore the Holy Land’s sacred sites and sample wholesome local fare.

Your next adventure is only a click away

Got your eye on one of this year’s hottest holiday destinations? Chat to one of our global experts about Cruise 1st itineraries bound for Europe, South Africa the Middle East and more. You can also give our friendly sales team a call on 0808 2746 777.


About Author

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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